Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jude case goes to the jury

The Frank Jude beating case should go to the jury today. It's dicey for people who haven't sat in the courtroom and listened to the testimony to know what the verdict should be. Even people who follow the case closely don't have access to the same information that the jury does and do not engage in the same deliberative process.

That's important to keep in mind here because it is a racially charged case with an all-white jury and I suspect that there will be serious racial tension if there is an acquittal.

Having said that, I will now violate my own caution. I would be surprised if, at least, Masarik and Bartlett aren't convicted. I wonder if Bartlett didn't blow whatever chance he had by testifying that it was Schabel (who had just testified against him) who was the one who, for no apparent reason, kicked Jude in the head. That seemed incredible and juries tend to get hacked off at people who lie to them. If they think he did, he is in trouble. I still wonder, though, whether the jury will convict them of more than substantial battery? Has McCann got the jury angry enough?

Spengler who doesn't face the more serious charge of reckless endangering safety decided not to testify and there seemed to be a bit less incriminating testimony regarding him. Maybe he walks.

Whatever the verdict, the trial has been a PR disaster for the MPD. Heggarty has her work cut out for her.

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